The fun, festive activities during the holiday season make it a favorite time of year for many people.

At the risk of sounding like a Grinch, all that festivity can lead to unintentional safety hazards. For example, some 30% of all home fires and 38% of home fire deaths occur over December, January and February, reports the Electrical Safety Foundation International.

As you enjoy the holidays this year, think about best practices for keeping you and your family safer.

1. Don’t get zapped

Not to shock you, but it’s crucial to keep your hands dry (and avoid standing in water) when touching decorations, gifts or other gadgets powered by electricity. You should install ground-fault circuit interrupters anywhere inside or outside where water and electricity may come in contact.

2. Sleep tight, but electronics-free


Lying down for a long nap? Stash cordless and corded appliances elsewhere to rule out overheating.

3. Install tamper resistant receptacles

These electric outlets feature internal shutters that keep curious children from inserting objects.

4. Keep an eye on candles

Instead of the open-flame candles that inadvertently spark holiday décor each year, consider battery-operated candles. However if you do use real candles, remember to blow them out when leaving the room.

5. Upgrade breakers or outlets

This smart technology temporarily disables circuits when detecting potentially dangerous electric leaks. About half of electrical fires that occur every year could be prevented by arc fault circuit interrupter. All upgrades should be completed by a qualified electrician.

6. Don’t get frazzled

Worn-cord warning: Avoid pinching electric cords between windows, rugs, carpets or furniture, since that can wear them down and possibly cause overheating and ignition.


Multi-outlet power strips and extension cords are handy for decorations, phones, cooking gear and new gift gadgetry, but plugging in too many things can over-tax your home’s electrical capacity. Never use an extension cord or power strip for heaters, as this causes cords to overheat and may result in a fire.

7. Decorate wisely

Consider fire hazards before plugging in the frayed cord that lights up your vintage Santa or arranging pine wreaths around your candles. Check decorations for safety listing labels and never connect more than three strings of lights.

When decorating, check for loose or bare wires, cracked or damaged sockets, wobbly connections, broken or sharp edges and other hazards.

8. Turn off lit decorations

Reduce the likelihood of fire by simply shutting everything off when there’s no one home (or awake) to enjoy them.

9. Care for Christmas trees

If you put up a real tree, make sure you water it daily. A dried-up pine tree is nothing but kindling. And an unfortunate 260 home fires in the United States start with Christmas trees each year, on average.


This article is courtesy of Brandpoint.